auto repair in Nashua, NH

As you drive your car, the engine runs and heats up as it does. As the engine runs, it can reach temperatures of over 500° Celsius. Overworking your engine can cause your car to overheat and break down. Luckily, your car is equipped with a coolant system to keep your engine temperature in check. Of course, just like any part of your vehicle, your coolant system can get damaged over the years. If you’re worried about your car’s coolant system, consider getting auto repair in Nashua. Here are three warning signs that your coolant system may need to be checked.

auto repair in Nashua, NH

Leaking

A warning sign of low coolant levels is white smoke coming from your exhaust. Yes, you will always see smoke coming from your exhaust, but the smoke to look out for will be thick and white. This is an indicator that there is a leak in your coolant system, allowing the heat to burn up your antifreeze. Another sign of a leak will be pooling of a green substance under your car. No puddle is too small. If you ignore a small puddle, chances are the leak will get worse. In instances of white smoke and green puddles, consider auto repair in Nashua.

Sweet Smell

While sweet smells can be a sign of good things like cookies or fruit, a sweet smell in the cabin of your car is not. Not to say an air freshener isn’t a good idea, but an unusual, sweet smell popping up should raise a red flag. Antifreeze smells sweet, and the scent can waft into your car if your coolant system is leaking or overheating. When a sweet smell pops up in your car, get to a mechanic to run diagnostics on your coolant system.

Steam

500° Celsius is the equivalent of 932° Fahrenheit. The average person starts complaining at around 83° Fahrenheit. This extreme temperature can cause your engine to overheat and release steam if your coolant system isn’t running correctly. The moment you notice white smoke or steam coming from the hood of your vehicle, pull over immediately. This is a surefire sign you need auto repair in Nashua.

 

You’ve heard the phrase “A car is worth more than the sum of its parts,” but your car isn’t worth much if those parts aren’t functional. Your coolant system is a necessity when it comes to keeping your engine at a manageable temperature while driving. If you notice any of these three sings, find auto repair in Nashua. Contact RK Auto Repair at 603-595-7575 or visit them online today.

Is Your Car Winter Ready?

Tire repair and replacement area of the garage

The winters of New England are no joke. Weather drops below freezing, so the air hurts your face, and the snow pummels everything. Driving becomes much harder in the winter than in other seasons due to the ice and snow. In extreme cases, roads are closed off. It can be intimidating to drive when you know the weather is going to get rough, which is why it’s important to make sure your car is prepared for anything. Here are a few tips to get your vehicle winter-ready from the best mechanics in Nashua.

Tire repair and replacement area of the garage

Tire Pressure

Tire pressure and tread depth are going to play significant roles in how your car handles in winter weather. As the temperature fluctuates, the air in your tires expands and retract. This causes your tire pressure to fluctuate as well. You can test your tire pressure with a gauge and fill it with an air compressor to your manual’s recommendation. As for tread depth, you can use a penny to test that. Place a penny in the tread with Abraham Lincoln’s head pointing up. If you find his head is still visible at the top, it’s a sign to replace your tires before winter hits.

Supplies

As a safety precaution, you should make sure you have a supply kit in the trunk of your car. While you should always keep an emergency kit in your car, you should make sure it is well stocked as winter comes around. Your kit should include essential items like road flares and a flashlight, a first aid kit and a radio. To customize the kit for winter, you should add blankets, a warm change of clothes, an ice scraper, and a bag of sand to get traction on the road.

Coolant

Making sure your car’s coolant and antifreeze levels are ready for winter is the key. The only thing keeping your engine from freezing and stalling in the winter chill is your coolant. You can check your coolant levels at home with a kit or bring your car to the best mechanics in Nashua to make sure it’s done right.

 

Driving in the winter is an intimidating thought that becomes less intimidating when you know you’re prepared. Making sure your tire pressure and coolant levels are at peak performance are the first steps. For extra safety, be sure to update your emergency kit with winter supplies. For any questions on how to prepare your car for winter, contact RK Auto Repair, the best mechanics in Nashua at 603-595-7575 or visit them online!

What Does a State Inspection Involve?

auto repair in Nashua, NH

It is no secret that your car needs an annual inspection to keep on top of your auto repair in Nashua. In fact, it’s the law. New Hampshire requires that every year you go to a certified mechanic to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive on the road. This is a precaution to keep yourself, pedestrians, and other drivers safe. While most people know they need to get an inspection, many don’t know what a state inspection entails. Here is a break down of what a NH state inspection looks like.

auto repair in Nashua, NH

Registration

The first step to a state inspection is making sure your registration and registration certificate, license plate, and vehicle ID number are all up to date.

Steering

Seeing as steering is what directs your car, this is a major part of the inspection. They also check the front end and the suspension of your vehicle.

Brakes

In order to pass a state inspection, your vehicle brakes must be in working order. Your auto repair in Nashua should inspect the brakes as well as the parking brake.

Meters

Your car has two major meters that need inspection. The first meter is the speedometer. This measures how fast your car is moving. The next is the odometer which measure hows far your car has traveled.

Electrical

State inspections take a look at the electrical system in your car. This includes the horn and the defroster.

Lights

The next part of the inspection is the lights and reflectors on your vehicle. Your mechanic will also test your headlight aim to ensure safe visibility.

Glass

The glass on your vehicle will be inspected for cracks and dings. The glazing and mirrors on your car are another part of this step.

Wipers

In order to see in the rain, your windshield wipers need to be operational. A state inspection can make sure your wipers are working properly.

Exhaust

Another part of a New Hampshire inspection is checking your exhaust isn’t clogged and is filtering correctly.

Body

Your car’s body, bumper height and chassis will also be observed during a state inspection.

Fuel

For a car to run smoothly and safely, your fuel system has to be functioning at its best. State inspections will make sure your fuel system is operating as it should.

Tires

Without tires and wheels, your car can’t drive. However, old tires can be dangerous to drive on. Because of this, your tires and wheels need to be checked during a state inspection.

State inspections are mandatory in New Hampshire and also include an inspection of your on-board diagnostics. The law says you need to have your car inspected for the first time within ten days of your registration date, and every year following determined by your birthday month. For state inspections and auto repair in Nashua, contact RK Auto Repair at 603-595-7575 or visit them online.

What is a Tire Rotation?

Tires in Nashua

When it comes to your vehicle, it never hurts to know as much as possible. Many people have heard of tire rotations throughout their life, but many don’t know what it is or why it should be done. Tire rotation is the process of moving the position of the tires on your vehicle to ensure more even wear and therefore a longer lifespan for your tires in Nashua. Though each car has a different necessity, the standard rule is to get your tires rotated every 5000 to 7500 miles. Here is a breakdown of tire rotation so you can know what’s going on with your car.

 

Tires in NashuaFront-Wheel Drive

Cars that operate on front-wheel-drive by using the front tires to steer. The front tires are putting the power into the road. Because of this, front-wheel-drive can lead the front tires to wear at a faster rate than the rear tires. To rotate tires on a front-wheel-drive vehicle, you should move  the back left tire should move to the front right position with the back right tire moving to the front left position. Then the front left tire to the back left position and the front right tire to the back right position.

Rear-Wheel Drive

There is one significant difference between front-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive vehicles. For rear-wheel-drive, the front tires still control the steering of the car while the rear tires transfer the power from the car to the road. This distribution of work leads to more even wear on the front and rear tires. This means that to rotate your tires in Nashua, you should move the front left tire to the back left position. The front right tire should be transferred to the back right position. When bringing the back tires to the front, you should place the back left tire on the front right side and the back right tire on the front left side.

Four-Wheel Drive

For four-wheel-drive, or all-wheel-drive, vehicles, the wear is even more evenly spread. Four-wheel-drive tire rotation will follow the same pattern as rear-wheel-drive vehicles. The two tires in the front will remain on the same side as they move to the back. The back tires will move to the front, swapping sides as they do.

 

While tire rotation can be done at home, it’s safer to have it taken care of by professionals. Let the mechanics at RK Auto Repair take care of your tires in Nashua. Contact them at 603-595-7575 or visit them online.

 

Auto repair in Nashua NH

Routine maintenance for gas, oil, and standard vehicle operations may seem like the most important part of owning a car. These consistent check ups are very necessary, but forgetting about your vehicle’s less prominent parts can harm your vehicle.

There are several items in your car that need consistent replacements. Observe a few below to get acquainted, and contact us for any auto repair in Nashua, NH.

Taillights

Staying visible on the road is important – especially at night. In conjunction with the front lights, the lights toward the back of your vehicle help guide the way and alert drivers to your presence.

Changing taillights is an easy, quick fix that will help keep you safe. Failure to keep up with them will not only result in possible danger: law enforcement will have words to say about your vehicle if it is not equipped with proper taillights.

Tires

They help you drive on the road, and give your vehicle the traction it needs to move on just about every surface. Frequent travel on these surfaces, however, can give some wear and tear to the tires – which can result in blowouts and plenty of damage.

It is recommended that tires and changed every 6,000 miles. Take a look at manufacturer standards to be sure of the precise time to change your vehicle’s tires, as they can vary.

Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers assist with your line of vision when driving, and cannot be underestimated in terms of safety. The wipers work to remove moisture and other weather particles from the windshield, clearing the surface.

Using fluid to make the movements nice and smooth will assist with visiblity, and frequent replacement before they get worn is a surefire way to keep your vision up to a high standard.

Gas Caps

Keeping the gas contained in your vehicle is necessary for it to have the fuel to function, so a proper gas cap is necessary. Since they are moved around frequently when purchasing gas and can cause engine troubles, they need to be looked at every now and then.

If your gas cap is loose, comes off of the vehicle often, or does not fasten, it needs to be changed. Your car’s fuel depends on it.

Tailpipes

Tailpipes assist with emission and help filter the air that comes in and out of your vehicle. Keeping your vehicle properly filtered will help with safety standards and makes the air breathable.

This part of the exhaust system can rust and get holes easily if they are neglected, so doing a visual check on them every so often is beneficial, and will ensure your exhaust system will work properly. RK Auto Repair work with these parts of the vehicle frequently and we are a great source if your exhaust system needs auto repair in Nashua, NH.

Of course, any part of your vehicle that is broken or seems a bit “off” should require your attention, but these are some of parts that need consistent attention.

For assistance with these parts and other aspects of vehicle care, give RK us a call at (603)-595-7575 for quality auto repair in Nashua, NH.

auto mechanic in Nashua

We all hear the stories online. Someone gets stuck in a snowstorm and is found three days later alive and well. Others may not be so lucky to be found within a decent time frame, but they still manage to survive. Even when you just need to stop on the side of the road and wait for the tow truck or the person that fixes everything in your life, you still need a way to stay safe and secure.

Getting stuck in the middle of nowhere is no one’s idea of a fun time, and many times you think that it could never happen to you. Chances are it won’t happen, but it is always good to prepare. Should you get stuck, there are a few things that will come in handy.

1.) Jumper cables or Jump Starter

These two items will come in handy when your battery doesn’t start. The good thing about a starter is that you don’t need to rely on another person to help you. As long as you check that it stays fully charged, it can be used to jumpstart the car. Jumper cables are also useful to have in case your charger goes caput. 

2.) Flashlight

It is helpful if you get stuck at night. You will be able to check around the car for issues and be able to call for help correctly.

3.) Tire Pressure Gauge, Fix-A-Flat (or spare), and Air Compressor

When you run into a flat tire, these are extremely useful so you can at least make it home or to your mechanic. An auto mechanic in Nashua will be able to help you out if you can get there. You will also need a jack and tire iron to change the flat tire.

4.) Kitty Litter, Sand or a Spare Carpet

These will help you if your tire gets stuck in snow, sludge or mud. It will create the traction that is needed for you to get out of a messy situation.

5.) Water and Protein Bars

There is no knowing how long it could be for someone to get to you. That is why bottles of water and protein bars are good in case you are stuck waiting for a couple of hours.

6.) Blankets, Sweaters, Hats

Anything that could help keep you warm is good to have, especially in the winter months. It is important that you are ready for temperature drops. 

7.) Flares, Reflectors

These get used so that the drivers that could be driving by will see the car and hopefully stop to help you out. If anything, you know that they won’t hit you. 

8.) Chargers, Radio, Cell Phone

In today’s age, it is impossible to be anywhere without your phone. While you may not have service where you are, a phone can always dial out to 911. Just make sure that you have a portable charger and a radio so you can hear about weather conditions if it is during inclement weather. 

9.) First Aid Kit, Emergency Kit

In case someone gets injured, have a first aid kit that will cover the basics. Many of these items are also in emergency kits that you can keep in the back of your car. Either way, it is useful to have both.

10.) Maps

Some GPS satellites won’t pick up where you are, depending on the area. It is always good to be able to have a map with you so you can tell people where you are, know where you are, and know where people might live.

While many of these things are common sense, it is essential to your survival until you can get picked up and brought to your auto mechanic in Nashua. Sometimes, waiting is the hardest part, so it is important to know what you should have just in case the worst should happen.

Tires in Nashua

At least once in your time of driving, it will happen: something in the road will cause you to get the dreaded flat tire, so you will need to pull over and take out the spare. Having a spare tire is the first thing that will help with your need to get to your mechanic for new tires in Nashua. However, that donut isn’t impervious. The main thing to remember is that the other tire is just that: a spare not meant for the road for an extended period. But, how long is too long when you have a spare tire on your car?

Donuts are extremely useful, but they are for temporary use. Most cars will have this style spare because they are small and lightweight so that you can have more space in the trunk for groceries and luggage. These tires, however, are prone to higher wear than if you had a full-size spare in the car. Donuts are designed to go no more than 50 miles per hour on the road, so avoid highways if you can. Also, they should only be in your car for about 70 miles or so – since they are small, they need to turn faster to be able to keep up with the wear of the car. When the single wheel is turning faster, it can cause more wear on the gears than if you had a new tire.

Another tire that some models have today are full sized spares. Cars like SUVS and trucks come with the full-size spare. While these can last longer than a regular donut, it does not have the same wear and tear as some of the other tires would. It could mess with the traction on the car if they are not present. There can be matching and non-matching options. These tires naturally take up more room as well, as they weigh more. If you are willing to take up space, it could save you from needing to go the mechanic right away if you cannot afford it.

A full-size temporary spare is another option in the full-size family of spare tires. This one was created to help maintain ABS, traction, and all-wheel drive while still being able to be lightweight. It will take up the same amount of space as a full-size, and it is a lightweight construction and lesser treads. Again it is best not to drive this spare tire longer than needed because it is not suited for high speeds or long distances.

Each of these tires is useful to get you to your mechanic to switch your tires in Nashua. While you may want to test the boundaries of your spare tire, it is best to call and schedule an appointment as soon as you get a flat so you can have matching tires in Nashua in no time.

RK Auto can service any auto needs you come across. Give us a call today at (603)-595-7575 and see why we are the only place you need to go.

Tires in Nashua

As we switch over from snow tires to our regular tires, it is time to determine if it is time for you to get new tires for the season. Tires are the key to making sure you make it to your destination safely. Balding tires can lead to grip issues on the road, especially during inclement weather. The good thing is there are some easy ways for you to tell if it is time for you to buy new tires in Nashua.

The Penny Test

Everyone knows about the penny test. If you don’t, well, you will learn today! The penny test is very simple to administer on your own. All you need is a penny. Take it with Lincoln’s head upside down and insert it into the tread of the tire. If the tread covers Lincoln’s forehead, then your treads are okay. On the opposite end, if you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it is time for new tires. It is important that you test every tire, though. Each tire could wear differently, especially if there is a wheel misalignment. If this is the case, you should make an appointment to replace the tires and get a proper alignment.

Tire Cracks

While you are doing your penny test, also see if there are any cracks in the tires. They could happen from weather and temperature and are a sign that you could need to switch out your tires soon.

Tread markers

In newer tires today, some markers are a part of the tire itself. These rubber additions run across the tire from side to side. They are perpendicular to the usual treads of the tires, and if they are flush with the casing, then it is time to replace. That means that the treads are very low.

Bald tires

It is the most dangerous tire to drive on. Bald tires have zero traction on them. It is important that you do not let your tires get to this level, but if they do, bring them in to get switched out as soon as possible.

Tire Pressure

It is more of a preventative measure, and also something that could contribute to balding tires. The tire pressure will naturally decrease over time. However, it is important for you to check the tire pressure, as driving in warm weather with an under-inflated tire can lead to more heat from the tires, and a faster wear out. Especially after winter, check the tire pressure since the cold can mess with it.

Tires in Nashua are fast and easy to replace. They are a necessary evil when it comes to maintaining your vehicle. RK Auto works on many customers, and we would like you to come into our shop for all of your tire needs. Whether you need two wheels replaced or all four, we can work with you to determine what you need. Our customers are family, and that makes a difference in our service. Call us today (603)-595-7575 to schedule an appointment with us!

NH State InspectionThere are many month long celebrations in the world: Black History Month, National Women’s History Month, BBQ Month, and even Golf Month. Each of these happens, some for historical reasons, others for more frivolous reasons. So, why would you not have a month dedicated to making sure that your car is getting the care that it needs? Car Care Month is not only one month but two months. If your vehicle is not kept up with, then you could run the risk of falling into a dangerous road. That is why the month is the best time to remind you of the common maintenance your car needs.

What are the two months to consider car care?

The two different time frames chosen for National Car Care Month are the beginning of spring and the middle of fall. These two times are the transitional periods between the two seasons when you should fix any issues that could potentially harm your car’s performance for the next few months. That is why we chose April and October to pay particular attention to the auto repair in Nashua, NH for your vehicle.

Why did they choose April?

That is a good question, and carcare.org has answered why they decided April was one of the months for Car Care Awareness. April is typically the first month that spring tends to come in full swing. Especially in New Hampshire, where a rogue snowstorm can happen at any time, it is important to remember that with the last melting of snow, there are a lot of things that your car will need. Washing your car, anything that may have gone wrong in the cold of winter, and even the worry of new issues that are coming with the spring rains, it is important to make sure you are up to date.

Why choose October?

The other month selected for car care month is October, similar to the reason that they chose April. With the end of summer and the start of winter, it is time to start winterizing your car and making sure that you are ready for the snow to come. It could mean getting snow tires in Nashua or any other needs that have to get done, such as brake and exhaust issues. Having a safe car in the winter is key to being able to continue the same mobility that you had during the summer months.

When we get into the full swing of the summer months, it is important to remember that auto repair in Nashua, NH should not be limited to these two months that we commemorate. In fact, you should follow your maintenance schedule for your vehicle rather than trying to make your own. Your car will thank you if you take good care of it, and you will be able to get more time with your vehicle.

At RK Auto, we like to remind you that with Car Care Month, it is time to review your car’s needs for monthly and yearly maintenance. From oil changes to tire rotations, it is important to remember that your car depends on you as much as you count on it. So, for any needs, call RK Auto at (603)-595-7575 to make sure that your vehicle keeps you going.

Ties in Nashua from RK AutoWith April in our midst, that means plenty of showers to allow for the flowers of May to bloom in beauty. The important thing to remember, though, is that the water needs somewhere to go. The water will not always drain into sewers or drainage ditches on the side of the road. Sometimes you will come across some puddles. The scary thing is, they can be deeper than they look and cause hydroplaning. It is important to know how to handle these scenarios because if you lose control, you could end up having to get some costly auto repair in Nashua, NH when you didn’t expect it.

What is hydroplaning?

If you have ever been driving and felt a little skid over some water, you have experienced hydroplaning. While it is scary to witness, once you know what happens, it can help the experience. When you hydroplane, you go over water that your tires cannot adequately disperse to get traction on the road. The loss of traction causes the skidding and sliding of the tires on the surface which is the long and short of hydroplaning. Typically, when you hydroplane, you lose control of steering and brakes. It is why many accidents happen in the rain.

When the water mixes with oil, it increases the chances that the wheel will not be able to break through the water and receive the traction that it needs. As you drive along the road, you will be able to skid on the water more if you are going faster on the road, which is why it is a good idea to slow down during the rain, especially if it is heavy.

How to stay safe on the road?

There are a few standard rules to follow when it comes to staying safe during a rain storm. Avoiding a costly auto repair in Nashua, NH while practicing these habits means that your wallet will thank you later.

  • Be careful at the start of the rain storm. When the rain first falls, it can stir up oil and things that could be slippery. It is best to slow down when the rain stops, especially if you aren’t sure of the road conditions.
  • Properly inflated tires are essential to being able to control the vehicle as well. Your tires should stay inflated to the proper psi at all times. Lack of proper psi could mean they have low traction. Also, check the treads and keep the tires rotated correctly.
  • Slow down for your wheels to continue to maintain traction on the road. The faster you go, the more likely you are not to scatter the water.
  • Follow the cars in front of you. Following the tail lights will ensure that you stay in lines during torrential rains, but also you are following in the tire treads through the already established water.
  • Avoid puddles and lanes that tend to accumulate pools of water. You never know how deep they are and what is underneath.
  • Don’t slam on the brake or make hard turns. When you do that, you are more likely to skid than if you were to take it slow.

There are ways to pull yourself out of the skid once you get into it as well.

  • Understand what is going on with the skid. Know that if you start getting pulled in various directions, you could be hydroplaning.
  • Relax and wait for it to stop (which is easier said than done). Avoid slamming on your breaks and take your foot off the gas slowly.
  • Steer in the proper direction slowly. Ease into the direction you want to go. Don’t just jerk on the wheel. Then slowly brake by pumping, never make any jerky or fast motions if possible.

If you follow these tips and tricks when you find yourself hydroplaning, then you could save yourself from disaster. If something does go wrong, however, you have the folks at RK Auto to help you with any auto repair in Nashua, NH you may need. Give us a call the next time you need a qualified mechanic at (603)-595-7575.